And we thought the fantasy sports kerfuffle has died out after the fantasy leagues won against MLB earlier this year. But no, now CBS Interactive (NYSE: CBS), which also looks after CBSSports.com, has filed a federal lawsuit in Minneapolis against NFL Players Association to clarify who can use the these stats for its lucrative fantasy football leagues. The lawsuit, filed last week, claims PA had threatened to sue CBS if it does not pay licensing fees for the statistics, reports AP. CBS Interactive seeks a ruling saying that the players cannot control use of the publicly available numbers and cannot demand that CBS pays for their use...a very similar argument to the MLB case.
In the lawsuit, filed below, CBS alleges that PA had "gone so far as to say that if CBS Interactive takes any action to challenge its rights to licensing fees, it will never again grant CBSSports.com rights necessary to operate fantasy games and will therefore put CBSSports.com out of the fantasy football business," a pretty strong and foolish statement to make if true. According to SBJ, CBSSports.com paid the union a total of $1.49 million in the fiscal year ended February 29, 2008, up from $1 million in the prior fiscal year, according to annual reports filed by the union to the U.S. Labor Department. No money is believed to have changed hands between the two sides in the current fiscal year for fantasy licensing as a result of the MLB-CDM case, it says.
By Rafat Ali